Apple’s third big revelation at its September 14 “California Streaming” event was a new generation of its Apple Watch. The Series 7 is planned for release later this fall at a starting price of $399, and it will bring a host of improved features, including a larger screen with thinner borders.
The Series 7 watch runs off of the new Watch iOS8. It features a 20% larger screen with a new retina display that continues to slim down the already-skinny borders of the watch, which are now 40% thinner, clocking in at just over 1 millimeter wide.
The case and display both have softer, rounded corners for a wraparound effect, and the face is claimed to be 70% brighter in indoor settings. It features a modular face that will let users customize its interface, thanks to larger and more visible buttons that are easier to tap.
In a feature that might have been less generally useful before the pandemic, the Series 7 retains the Series 6’s ability to track its user’s blood oxygen levels. It’s part of a more sensitive suite of fitness options, including cycling updates, more accurate fitness tracking, and health-sensitive data such as being able to run a personal ECG.
The new screen can fit 50% more text on its display than last year’s Series 6, with a full keyboard available as part of its standard kit that you can either type on or swipe with.
The Series 7 features a 100% recycled metal case that contains magnets made from 100% recycled rare earth elements, as well as a crack-resistant front crystal. Its battery can last up to 18 hours, and cit harges 33% faster than last year’s Series 6 model. According to Apple, a dead Series 7 can go from 0% to 88% in around 45 minutes with use of its new charger.
It’s also the first Apple Watch with IP6X certification, making it “dust-tight,” eliminating ability for dust to make ingress within the watch’s case. It’s also claimed to be water resistant at up to 50 meters (you can shower with it on, but maybe take it off before you go into the pool).
The Series 7 will ship in multiple colors, including midnight, starlight, green, blue, product red, silver, black, and titanium.
The Apple Watch was initially released in April 2015, and it became one of the bestselling wearable items on the tech market. One analyst, Neil Cybart of Above Avalon, has claimed that the Watch has an installation base of well over 100 million people as of February of this year, with around 10% of global iPhone users also using an Apple Watch. While it’s most famous as a fitness/workout companion, boasting calorie tracking and a heart rate monitor, it also features contact-free Apple Pay, an app that turns it into a two-way wrist radio reminiscent of the “Dick Tracy” comic strips, and built-in mapping and compass functionality.